How a Local Biotech Company Found Its Groove Hybrid Work Environment :: – Advice Eating

This article was written for our sponsor BioCryst Pharmaceuticals.

Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack—after the sudden shift to working from home, remote-friendly communications software brands have become household names.

A recent Zippia survey found that 83% of US employees want a hybrid work model. So, as many organizations continue the transition back to face-to-face work, the question is not whether this technology will be incorporated into the new work model, but to what extent it will become part of standard information technology operations.

At BioCryst, a global biotech company, access to the right software is only a small part of the solution to a successful hybrid workspace. The company recently opened new office space at Frontier RTP specifically designed for hybrid working.

“We surveyed our employees and found out that a hybrid working model is so important to them. With that in mind, we partnered with an architect to design our new space and make it a space that encourages employees to come onsite when they need to collaborate with their teams and others, but is also a space where they can work independently if they choose to,” said Sue Hickman, BioCryst’s office manager and executive assistant. “We really went back to the drawing board and ditched our old model of individual offices, and now we have a variety of large and small meeting spaces that allow people to come in and work together, as well as individual workspaces in a more open floor plan.”

Other highlights of the new campus include individual libraries where employees can focus more, lounge areas for social gatherings, and garage doors on conference rooms to allow for more capacity when needed.

Working with the architectural team helped BioCryst leadership understand exactly what their employees are looking for in a workspace.

In addition to the physical space, new technologies and software will also be implemented to support the company’s hybrid working model.

“One collaboration tool we use regularly is Microsoft Teams, which allows our departments to work together on specific projects at the same time, making meetings more productive no matter where employees are located,” said Rico Scott, service desk manager at BioCryst. “We also used virtual reality headsets in the labs on our Birmingham, AL campus. The specific molecules that our scientists make must fit specific proteins in the body like a glove fits the hand. The virtual reality technology allows us to visualize the 3D structure of the protein and design the molecules to best fit it.”

BioCryst’s IT team worked with other teams to determine the ideal mix of software to ensure employees working remotely felt connected to their colleagues and embedded in the company culture.

The most important thing for the future is flexibility.

“This office space is kind of a pilot project to see what’s working and what could be improved,” Scott said. “We will continue to develop and improve our technology, but an ongoing dialogue with employees is essential to receive feedback and implement any necessary changes to ensure we are as flexible and efficient as possible.”

The offices at Frontier RTP also rely heavily on employee feedback. In fact, BioCryst regularly pulse-checks through surveys and other touchpoints, and uses that data to determine what adjustments need to be considered.

In doing so, they hope to create the ideal hybrid office for any employee who wants to use it — not just here at the Triangle, but at its facilities around the world.

“Thanks to survey technology, we’re very proactive in gathering feedback from our employees throughout the year, but we also now have tools to help us identify areas for improvement. For example, since office reservations are made through a dedicated app, we can see which rooms or areas aren’t being used, and then contact the staff and say, “What can we do to make this area of ​​our office more user-friendly?” ? What’s missing?’” Hickman said. “We will constantly monitor so that we can create the best working environment for our employees. I think that will set us apart because it’s impossible to emphasize the importance of listening to our teams.”

“We designed this space to be very flexible in terms of reconfiguring specific zones or workspaces in our office to better suit employees’ needs,” she added. “From day one, we convey to every employee that they are the owner – not the tenant – of this company. Their opinion matters, what they contribute matters and we want to encourage them to find and build the environment that will best help them succeed.”

This article was written for our sponsor BioCryst Pharmaceuticals.

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